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EECEIPTS FOR DRESSING BOOTS.
One pint of boiled linseed oil, half a pound of mutton suet, six ounces of clean bees-wax, and four ounces of rosin, to be melted over the fire, and well mixed. This, while warm—not so hot as may burn the leather, to be rubbed well in with the hand, the boots being perfectly clean and dry; the leather is left soft and pliant.
I have used this receipt for years, and prefer it to those which I subjoin, as it is more easily made. It is excellent as a preservative of the leather, and as good as any I have ever tried for keeping out the water. I extracted it, many years ago, from an American paper.
India rubber, cut fine . . 4 oz.
Spirits of turpentine . . 7 oz.
Bees-wax 2 oz.
Mutton suet 3 oz.
Linseed oil ^ pint.
Put the India rubber into a bottle with the spirits of turpentine; place it near the fire until dissolved, which may be three weeks; then add the other ingredients, they having been previously melted together over a slow fire. This must be well rubbed into the boots with a brush, the boots being perfectly dry and clean; twice a week will suffice, or once every third time after wearing them.
1 pint of linseed oil, boiled.
1 oz. of bees-wax.
•£ oz. of Burgundy pitch.
2 oz. of spirits of turpentine.
Melt the three first ingredients over a slow fire in an earthen pot; after taking off the fire, add the turpentine. Eub this mixture well into the boots with the hand for a quarter of an hour (but a soft-haired brush will do), either before the fire or under a warm sun. In the first instance, let this operation be performed three times, at intervals, before wearing the boots; subsequently once a week will suffice, or three times a fortnight.
Two oz. of India rubber, cut into pieces and dissolved in one pint of spirits of turpentine, to which is to be added one pint of linseed oil, two ounces of bees-wax, two ounces of Burgundy pitch, one table-spoonful of Venice turpentine, a little white lead, and a little lamp-black. The latter articles must all be boiled together before they are mixed with the dissolved India rubber. The mixture to be rubbed into the boots with a soft-haired brush once a week.
GROUSE SHOOTING—VARIETIES OF GROUSE
—GROUSE DISEASE—SETTERS AND
Grouse shooting has been called, and not inappropriately, the 'fox-hunting' of shooting, as it is as far superior to every other kind of shooting, as fox-hunting is to every other description of hunting. There is an excitement and fascination peculiar to this sport, arising from the wildness and beauty of the scenery, valleys, dingles, and dells, encompassed by irregular, rugged, rocky, precipitous mountains, possessing every variety of shape, form, and altitude, occasionally enhanced by contiguous sea and fresh-water lochs; and if there be a partial appearance of sterility and desolation, it is somewhat relieved by the numerous varieties of heather of different colour, shade, and hue, which luxuriate in every direction, on the 'tops, points, and sides of projecting rocks. This external and visible combination of circumstances produces a pleasing and agreeable sensation, which the monotonous, compact, and well-arranged fields of Norfolk and Suffolk can never afford, however well stocked with game they may be, besides offering a fine field for the display of the best qualities in the highest bred and best disciplined dogs, and putting the metal of the sportsman to the test; for to pursue this sport successfully, it is required not only to have first-rate dogs, but to be an indefatigable walker, and to be able to use the gun skilfully. There is no sport more fatiguing, when well followed up, especially as the season advances; but very few out of the large proportion who visit the Highlands for grouse shooting remain beyond three weeks or a month, and therefore the majority are not aware of the greater pleasure and stronger excitement which this sport affords in the months of October and November. Then, of course, the number of head bagged will be very considerably reduced; but the superior quality and beauty of the birds, which are then in full feather, will more than make up for their reduced number, and being stronger and swifter on wing, and more difficult of access, are more worthy of the sportsman's labour, exertion, and skill, while the wild and rapid manner in which they rise causes an additional emotion, considerably enhancing the pleasure of bringing them down.
At the beginning of the season grouse lie close, rise near, and are very easily shot; and if the weather be warm, as it very frequently is in August, the difficulty is to make them rise; but it sometimes happens, if the birds be forward and strong on wing, and the season wet, they are wild even at the commencement—but this is rare.
The best mode of proceeding is to commence at the early part of the day on the outside of the moors, and drive birds towards some favourite feeding-ground, leaving it quiet for the evening's sport; and if you are successful in this respect, you will have as much shooting as you can desire. On first-rate moors, at the beginning of the season, this plan is unnecessary, as birds are sufficiently thick everywhere not to render any deviation from the beat requisite, but as the season advances, it may be resorted to with great advantage. It is important, previous to commencing operations, to direct your attention to the quarter from which the wind comes, and to regulate your movements so as not to drive the birds off the moors, as grouse, when disturbed, generally fly down wind, take long flights, and do not return, like partridges, the same evening, to the ground where they were bred, so that, if driven into an enemy's, country, a serious loss may be the consequence.
If the wind comes from the north, it is advisable to go as far north-east or north-west as may be convenient, and beat the ground at right angles to the wind; by continuing to quarter the ground thus, you not only give the wind to the dogs, but drive the birds towards the centre of the ground. But all these movements are relative, and must depend upon the size and extent of the moors. On a very large and extensive moor, well supplied with grouse, attention to this suggestion may perhaps not be so necessary; bu£